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A Grade II Listed Building in Woolsington, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Latitude: 55.0274 / 55°1'38"N

Longitude: -1.6949 / 1°41'41"W

OS Eastings: 419601

OS Northings: 570360

OS Grid: NZ196703

Mapcode National: GBR JBL9.VM

Mapcode Global: WHC39.YW2T

Plus Code: 9C7W28G4+X2

Entry Name: Trees

Listing Date: 27 October 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1395156

English Heritage Legacy ID: 501660

ID on this website: 101395156

Location: Woolsington, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE13

County: Newcastle upon Tyne

Civil Parish: Woolsington

Built-Up Area: Woolsington

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Ponteland St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Tagged with: Building

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1833/0/10229 MIDDLE DRIVE

Trees, a house, 1967-8 by Gordon Ryder (1919 -2000) of the firm Ryder and Yates, for himself and his family.

The house is of load-bearing buff brick with grey-green panels (replacing the original white), with a concealed steel structure supporting the living room ceiling.

Trees is set along the north boundary of the site, addressing the garden to the south and east. It is a long, narrow, two-storey rectangle with triangular fin-like protrusions at the centre of the long north and south sides containing the entrances from the drive and garden respectively. The room arrangement is intended to separate parents' and children's areas.

The east elevation is substantially glazed with grey-green panels, the window's shape expressing the paraboloid ceiling inside the living room. The north and south elevations have horizontal bands of windows, a limited fenestration to restrict noise pollution from the nearby airport and a projecting fin, above which are small transverse monopitch roofs with side panels, echoing the form of the fins. There are bands of fenestration either side of the triangular fins at ground floor level, in addition to windows above the entrances. The south façade also has a porthole window from the gallery set into the extended panel and there is a door from the living room, with a raised mound of earth beneath. The west façade is blank with a large garage door. Windows and doors have been replaced with uPVC, except the porthole and large living room window.

On the ground floor, the living room, entrance hall and cloakroom are divided from the dining room, kitchen and laundry by a cranked wall that forms the side of the gallery above. The entrance leads via a short flight of steps to the large double-height living space, at the east end of the house and at a higher level than the remainder of the ground floor. From this space steps lead down to the dining room and a narrow stair leads to the bedroom corridor (the only access to the first floor), with a small 'bridge' over the entrance hall to the gallery. Between the gallery and guest bedroom is a narrow study that projects into the garden above the south entrance. The ground floor of the west half of the house has a playroom, four children's bedrooms, a bathroom and boiler, with the garage at the end. Above is the large master bedroom and guest room, each with en-suite bathroom. The master bedroom has access onto a large high walled terrace above the garage.

Interior walls are largely white painted render or brick, with the exception of the curved wall in the dining room which is covered with yellow hessian, and areas of fair-faced brick and cork in the ground floor bedroom area. Joinery is painted white, except the fitted cupboards in natural timber. Ceilings and timber are carefully detailed to accentuate the effect of shadows. The principal space is the large double-height living room and gallery with large end window. The area which is dominated by the dramatic ceiling of two paraboloid sections, one concave and one convex. Interesting views are created through the interconnecting hall, stair, gallery, entrance, living and dining areas. During the 1970s, the dining area was partitioned off with a timber screen with door in response to the oil crisis. Kitchen and laundry have been refitted, and part of the dividing wall with sliding partition between them removed.

Upstairs, the master bedroom's ceiling is a single concave paraboloid, shallower than that of the living room. The room has original fitted stencilled natural timber cupboards and its en-suite bathroom has been refitted. There is a large window along the west wall, with access onto the walled terrace garden. Other rooms are low-ceilinged, and simpler in design. The dining room has access to the garden.

The firm of Ryder and Yates was an important regional practice in the North-East, whose work is surprisingly under-published. They have emerged as one of the few entirely regional practices whose work was consistently of a quality and innovation comparable with firms based in the London area. They were committed to the modernist ethos; Peter Yates had previously worked with Le Corbusier, the pair met whilst working for Lubetkin at on Peterlee, and the practice's work is strongly informed by these architects. Ryder and Yates set up practice in Newcastle in 1953, and their early work included seven private houses, of which this is the last, the most ambitious and complete, all sharing a rectilinear plan. At the time of building, Ryder and Yates had not long completed Norgas House (1964) and the Grade II* designated Gas Council Engineering Research Station (1967), both at Killingworth and both iconic Corbusian buildings, for which they were best known.

Carroll, R Ryder and Yates: Twentieth Century Architects, (2009)
Fawcett, P A, 'Learning from Le Corbusier and Lubetkin the work of Ryder and Yates', The Journal of Architecture, (Autumn 2001), 225-248.
House and Garden, (February 1972), 46 - 50
Interior Design, (May 1973), 324 - 5.

Trees, Middle Drive, Woolsington, a private house of 1969 by Ryder and Yates designed as a family home for Gordon Ryder himself, is designated for the following principal reasons:

* Planning: it displays imaginative and novel internal planning with the strong segregation of children's and adult areas
* Interior: it possesses innovative and dramatic interiors which is remarkable for its use of geometry
* Design: the design of its exterior counteracts the effects of Airport noise
* Intactness: it is little altered and those exterior alterations which have occurred are compensated for by the quality and ingenuity of its interior
* Designer: the architectural practice of Ryder and Yates is recognised as the most important post-war regional practicein England

Reasons for Listing

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